Friday, June 25, 2010

"Growing Up in a World of Plenty"

It's not difficult for us to deceive ourselves into believing we are powerless.  Most of us do this naturally. And, unfortunately, most of the time we are unaware of what's happening. As victims of our beliefs, we are usually heavy laden with difficult problems and few solutions. We find that the sheer weigh of victimization has weaken our minds to the point where reality and illusion are blurred by our efforts to bring more and more things -- people, places, and money -- into our lives.

As many of us know from having been on the road for a few years, we respond to ideas that promise us things. Sadly, we are moved by things. And some of us  are willing to do just about anything to have them. We  measure our worthiness by the things we possess.  While we live in a plentiful world, we struggle to have the things that we believe are out of our reach. Our search has become an external one, not an internal one.

As enlightenment-seekers, we are constantly reminded to focus on things.  At nearly every juncture in our travels, someone reminds us of the value of having riches and fame.  And for some of us, we find this very attractive.  We rush hither and yonder to hear salespeople preach about how to access things.  And the more promises they make of our achieving great  things, the more we strive to get them. We have, somewhere in our consciousness, embodied beliefs that we should seek things outside of ourselves. So we are always searching for people and things to make us feel complete. 

Whenever we wipe the cataracts -- the victim beliefs -- from our eyes, our vision improves significantly. With some clarity, we can perceive our actions within the context of adequacy  and inadequacy.  This clarity allows us to understand what's causing us to search outside of ourselves for things to make us feel adequate or complete. 

Similarly, by admitting we need things, we are confirming our inadequacy or incompleteness. Moreover, we are confirming we live  in a world of plenty.  This belief in plentifulness confirms the lack in our lives and cause us to  feel alienated from spiritual completeness and material completeness. It is our lack of completeness  that causes to search outside of ourselves for the things we see others with.  It is our lack that confirms our poverty. And it is our lack that confirms our victimization.

Nevertheless, it's poor among us who are constantly confirming their poverty.  It's the middle and upper middle-class that's  constantly working to escape from poverty by acquiring more things. And it's the rich class that's working to maintain their wealth by acquiring more things than others.  We are all waging battles with ourselves for the things to make us feel complete, important people.

The scarcity of things in the lives of the poor is always causing them to do whatever they can to own giant screen televisions, luxury automobiles, expensive clothes, and stay in luxurious hotels all in vain attempts to feel more complete. It's difficult to accept that things don't make us happy or complete, because we do feel happy and complete, albeit, for only a temporary time. And it's this temporary happiness that drives us forward to seek more and more moments of temporary happiness, which is followed by longer moments of longing for more things to fill the void of incompleteness in our lives.

The victimized mind perceives the rich and famous people as powerful, while on the other hand, we perceive ourselves as powerless. Unfortunately, this description of life is only a reflection of our illusory minds playing tricks on us. We have forgotten that we are complete without things.

Meanwhile, the face we see in the mirror is whatever we believe it is.  If we compare it to other faces, then we might disapprove of how we look and seek to change it.  On the other hand, if we see ourselves complete in the moment, then there's no reason for us to feel inadequate or incomplete. We don't need to change anything. This does not mean nurturing bodies and minds that are detrimental to our well-being. If we are overweight, struggling to walk, we should act to give ourselves more energy by engaging in healthy diets and regular exercise.

As enlightenment seekers, we are awaken enough to know that by engaging in healthy diets and physical exercise we strengthening our minds and bodies to complete the journey we have established for ourselves. Our activities are limited to taking care of our health and not by struggling to become like someone we believe has achieved looks and status that make us feel inadequate. We live in a world of plenty and lack or scarcity are expressions of victimization.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Standing Alone With an Enlightened Mind

To be alone is not all that bad if you have yourself as a companion. The self I am talking about is the transformed, enlightened, or awakened mind. The problem many of have with this situation is our willingness to believe we are somehow deficient or inadequate.  And by thinking and believing we are not adequate the way we are, we begin to move away from the self and search for other companions -- people, places, and things -- to make us feel adequate or less deficient.

The more we condemn ourselves, the more intense our search becomes for companions. This is a natural search used by millions of people throughout history. We cannot seem to understand why we feel inadequate or incomplete with ourselves. Some argue it's because we need the companionship of others.  That's why there are billions of people in the world. We need them to make us feel adequate. Perhaps this is valid, but does it really address our individual feelings of adequacy.

Some of us become frightened with the thought of being alone, even for a few hours, without companions. We find it too difficult to feel complete with ourselves. We find life boring without our self-imposed distractions.  We need companions who think and act like us to make us feel adequate. And regardless to their percieved shortcomings, they still provide us with a comforting effect. And while many of us proclaim our desires to achieve enlightenment, we really don't believe it's possible without having large numbers of companions in our lives.

The victimized mind is always searching for more and more victims as companions. We need them to validate ourselves and our judgments about who we are. Somewhere in our victimized conditioning we have reached conclusions about how the world should be, how people should act, and the righteousness of our judgments. We have judged ourselves, the world, and others inadequate. And, somehow, we believe our judgments are valid because they come from us.

When we free ourselves from condemnation, we clearly know that Life without our judgments is wonderful.  There's nothing right or wrong about it at all. What is considered good for one person is judged bad for another, and so on.  It's when we add our victimized beliefs to create perceptions about people, places, and things, that we create a distorted reality of what's happening in the world.

Nevertheless, we are constantly making judgments about ourselves and others and acting on our judgments. This is the behavior that's crippling our minds to seek enlightenment somewhere else. We have become too engaged in the movie and forgotten that we are only observing cinema illusions, not realities. We must remain mindful of who we are in our experiences. When we do this, we clearly know we cannot perceive a reality greater than our beliefs, experiences, and knowledge of the world. 

Whenever we take the time to be alone with ourselves, we realize that we always alone with ourselves.  Wherever we go, we take our beliefs, experiences, and knowledge with us.  We never leave home without them.  We are the self that we despise and want to make better.

For us to become better, we search for others to become our models.  And in many instances, we don't really know the persons we are seeking to become.  All we really know is they seem to be doing better than us.  We want to be like the best and brighest. That's all that really matters.

So we leave our condemned selves to become like people we believe have the things we desire to have in life. It matters little to us that we know very little about their private behavior or level of awareness. This is the pilgrimage all victims must make in search of the self outside of ourselves. This is the journey victims refer to as enlightenment.

Meanwhile, what if our evaluation of the self is incorrect?  What if we are already perfect, complete and adequate?  If we are, then the search for completeness is within us. We must first understand why we believe we are inadequate.  And by what authority -- enlightened or victim minds -- are we reaching this conclusion? In other words, we are untrained medical doctors reaching conclusions about our medical conditions and prescribing medications based on misguided conclusions.  

For many of us on the enlightenment journey, it seems more plausible to accept ourselves as adequate than inadequate.  If we are adequate, we only need to change our thinking about us being inadequate.  Whenever we bestow greatness upon ourselves, we lessen the work we need to do to overcome our victimization. And it begins with the self, not the victimized mind projecting itself to us as the self, but the perfect and complete self

When we reach the point in our discovery where we achieve victim-free minds, we are now open to self-discovery. We now have the confidence, the spaciousness, and the willingness to pursue the uncorrupted, intuitive self hidden beneath the victim beliefs causing us to condemn ourselves. To search for and find this consciousness, we must know or believe that it exists within us.  If we don't believe or know this, we will search for the intuitive self  in others.  And, unfortunately, our searches will be in vain.  We. our intuitive selves, do not exist outside of us, except in our victimized minds.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cultivating the Mind

Today, it seems that so many people are suffering from an unidentifiable psychological malaise. First of all, most of us don't even know we feel this way.  Sadly, we find it difficult to recognize the hold victim beliefs have on us. We struggle to survive, to cope with the unidentifiable problems causing feelings of malaise. And because we don't recognize the problem, we don't know how to go about solving it.

As victims with unidentifiable problems,  we have imprisoned ourselves in a miasma of angst and intense suffering. It is from this mindset that we learn to live with intolerable pain.  This is the level of consciousness where we must begin our work to overcome the victim beliefs rendering us powerless to perceive life without pain and suffering.

At the heart of all doubts, pain, and suffering is our mind. If we allow our minds to be cultivated with daily dosages of victim beliefs, then we will, inevitably, find ourselves functioning in a bottomless pit of victimhood. Victimhood is our anointed sanctuary, our safe house, where we hide from bountiful opportunities to free our minds of victim beliefs. Here, in our self-anointed kingdom of victimhood, we are able to redefine our powerlessness as success. We are free to embody apathy and espouse blandness prose about the benefits of seeking victimhood.

In our world, in the kingdom of victimhood, we are free to suffer in silence, because suffering is the way of life for victims. And even if we wanted to complain or do something about our living conditions, there's no one around to hear us. Unfortunately, in our kingdom -- victimization of the mind -- we have fallen too far down into the morass of pain and suffering for anyone to even know we want to transform our minds.

Nevertheless, there's a way for us to free ourselves from victimhood. When we reach the point in our suffering that we recognize it as suffering, we are ready to begin our ascend from victimhood into enlightenment. We, regardless to our numbers, begin to open our minds to perceive the limitless opportunities available to us.  Our willingness to search for openness provides us with enough light to take the first step.  And with each step thereafter, we create greater clarity. 

Whenever we open our minds to embrace clarity, we begin the planting of seeds -- thoughts, ideas, and beliefs -- that cultivate our now fertile minds to produce enlightened activities. And it is from our daily activities that we begin to change our behavior and begin our ascend from victimhood. While the process is long, and sometimes arduous, we must continue on our journey if we desire to overcome the suffering in our lives.

Now, even among those of us who are reluctant to embrace new ideas, it certainly seems plausible that if we change our activities, we, undoubtedly, change our results. It seems that only question is the type of activities we change to.  And as painful as it might be, we have to accept personal responsibility for the the actions that led us to  us to victimize our minds in the first place.

In the meantime, we must do the work ourselves.  We cannot wait on someone to do it for us. The seeds we are planting today are the ones that will become our actions for tomorrow. So we must remain mindful of the types of seeds we are planting. If we want peace, we must plant peace seeds. If want forgiveness, we must plant forgiveness seeds and so on.